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City Council - Minutes     
Monday, April 16, 2007

Call To Order:

Mayor Bryan Cairns called the meeting to order at 7:06 pm in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.



Roll Call:

City Councilmembers Sven Goldmanis, Mike Grady, Dan Grausz, El Jahncke, Steve Litzow, Deputy Mayor Jim Pearman and Mayor Bryan Cairns were present. 





(1)        Native Plant Appreciation Week Proclamation: The Mayor read a proclamation declaring April 29 – May 5, 2007, Native Plant Appreciation Week on Mercer Island.


Architecture Week Proclamation: The Mayor read a proclamation declaring April 16 – 21, 2007, Architecture Week on Mercer Island.





Rita Moore, 4509 Ferncroft Road, spoke about mitigation that is needed for the paving over storm water drains on the Mercer Ways as it increases the impervious surface on the Island by about 4 acres and causes pollution and stream level issues.


Denny Morrison, 8840 SE 60th Street, spoke to the Council about raccoons that destroyed his yard and his frustration with not being able to trap them.  He thanked City staff for helping him in solving his problems.  He asked the Council to review the currents laws regarding trapping on Mercer Island to make it easier for residents who have raccoon issues.


Sam Hobson, 8828 SE 77th Place and Ralph Jorgenson, 8040 84th Avenue SE spoke about the proposed trail on the west side of Island Crest Way between SE 71st Street and SE 78th Street.  They are concerned that it will not provide any additional security to pedestrians since there is no separation other than a painted line.  They asked that a planted strip be added to separate pedestrians from vehicle traffic.





(2)        It was moved by Councilmember Goldmanis; seconded by Councilmember Litzow to:

Approve the Study Session & Regular Meeting Minutes of April 2, 2007.

Motion passed 7-0.



Consent Calendar:


(3)        Payables: $245,331.44   Payroll: $528,723.59


It was moved by Councilmember Litzow; seconded by Councilmember Goldmanis to:

Approve the Consent Calendar and the recommendations contained therein.

Motion passed 7-0.






Regular Business:


(4)        AB 4179            Open Space Conservancy Trust Board 2006 Annual Report


Park Arborist Paul West introduced Rita Moore, Chair of the Open Space Conservancy Trust who presented the Trust’s 2006 Annual Report.  She spoke about the effects of the December Storm on Pioneer Park, the status of encroachment agreements, board trainings, volunteer events and other programs the Trust is handling.


Following questions the Council accepted the 2006 Open Space Conservancy Trust Report.



(5)        AB 4181            Renton Airport – Memorandum of Understanding


Policy Analyst Linda Herzog presented a Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Mercer Island and the City of Renton, laying out the intentions for continued collaboration, and describing in particular the conduct of the noise study and broad dissemination of the results regarding the expansion of the Renton Municipal Airport. The Renton City Council unanimously adopted the Memo of Understanding at its April 9, 2007 meeting.


It was moved by Councilmember Goldmanis; seconded by Councilmember Litzow to:

Adopt Resolution No. 1388 approving the Memorandum of Understanding stating the intentions of Mercer Island and Renton to collaborate on future information-gathering, community participation and advice to decision-makers on the Renton Municipal Airport Master Plan.


It was moved by Councilmember Grady; seconded by Councilmember Grausz to:

Amend Resolution No. 1388:

B.   The Mercer Island City Council seeks to minimize noise impacts, public safety impacts, and environmental impacts for Mercer Island residents whose homes are affected by noise from landings and take-offs at Renton Airport.

            Motion to amend passed 7-0.


Main motion passed 7-0.



(4)        AB 4178            Public Hearing: Town Center Code Amendments (2nd Reading)


The Mayor opened the Public Hearing at 8:10 pm.


Deputy City Manager Londi Lindell presented the amendments to the Town Center code including amendments proposed by the Council at the April 2nd, 2007 Council meeting.


Following the staff presentation the Mayor invited citizens to testify. 


Rita Moore, 4509 Ferncroft Road, asked Council to insure the appropriate collection of storm water and protect Lake Washington from contamination from storm water being dispersed into the lake.


Maretta Holden, 8221 SE 24th Street, objected to any height over the existing maximum building height of 5 stories.


Marguerite Sutherland, 5425 96th Avenue SE, asked if the City would provide public parking with the new building construction.  Deputy City Manager Lindell responded that there is a requirement for developments to provide public parking spots. 


There being no comments the Mayor closed the Public Hearing at 8:28 pm.


Arthur Sullivan, ARCH answered questions from the Council regarding median incomes to determine affordable housing.


Following discussion and debate of the items listed below the Council accepted the amendments from the April 2, 2007 meeting and then directed staff to prepare further amendments (noted below) to Ordinance No. 07C-02, continue the Public Hearing until May 7, 2007 for third reading and adoption of the Ordinance.

·         Councilmember Grady Amendment: This amendment requires undergrounding of utility and equipment cabinets unless the developer places them inside of a building. 

·         Councilmember Goldmanis Amendment: This amendment allows buildings in the Gateway, Mixed Use and Mid-rise Office Focus Areas an additional story of building height for a maximum building height of 6 stories if the developer provides an additional 5 feet in sidewalk width.  Council debated this amendment and directed staff not to include this amendment in the Ordinance.

·         Councilmember Jahncke Amendment: This amendment changes the definition of “affordable housing” to be based upon the median income of City of Mercer Island and Mercer Island School District full time employees.  Council debated this amendment and directed staff to return with text that would accomplish Councilmember Jahncke’s objective of setting the affordable housing standard at the median income of public employees on Mercer Island. 

·         Councilmember Jahncke Amendment: This amendment changes the word “may” to “shall” and would require the City to waive permit fees when a developer selected the affordable housing option for a significant public amenity or major site feature.  Staff recommended Council consider some additional text clarifying the amount of permit fees to waive if the decision was no longer discretionary with staff.  Council directed staff to prepare an amendment requiring the waiver of permit fees but limiting the amount of fees waived to the pro rate portion of the permit fees related to the highest story of the building. 

·         Councilmember Grausz Amendment: Amend Exhibit 3 entitled “Lots Eligible for Significant Public Plazas and Significant Pedestrian Connections to eliminate the pedestrian connection on the block bordered by SE 27th Street, SE 29th Street, 77th Ave. SE and 78th Ave SE.  Council referred to this City block as the “Albertson” block in reference to a current use on the subject block. 

·         Councilmember Jahncke Amendment: Delete prohibition on skybridges over pedestrian connections but include height and width limitations for the skybridge. 





Councilmember Absences:

Councilmember Grausz will be absent May 7th.


Planning Schedule:

Add agenda item regarding trapping.


Board Appointments:

There were none.


Councilmember Reports:

Councilmember Litzow spoke regarding (1) Sound Transit’s budget proposal for the November ballot of $13.5 billion and RTID at $7 million; (2) The support for Roads & Transit and the cost per household; and (3) Sound Transit II Plan working draft (520, tolling, I-90 corridor transit).

Councilmember Grady spoke regarding (1) a meeting with 520 project team; (2) Alaskan Way viaduct is on hold: and (3) Seattle Times Climate Change Challenge.

Deputy Mayor Pearman spoke regarding tolling on 520 and I-90.


Adjournment:           9:55 pm


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